Juventus Win 2015-16 Serie a Title: Highlights, Reaction, Breakdown of Season

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2016

Juventus' defender Leonardo Bonucci (R) celebrates with teammates at the end of the Italian Serie A football match Juventus Vs Lazio on April 20, 2016 at the 'Juventus Stadium' in Turin.  / AFP / MARCO BERTORELLO        (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Juventus clinched the 2015-16 Serie A title on Monday following Napoli's 1-0 loss against AS Roma, winning their fifth consecutive Italian title. 

The Old Lady overcame early-season adversity and the departures of several key figures to put together one of the best runs in club history, locking up the title with weeks to spare.

The team confirmed the news of their title on Monday:

The Bianconeri lost star midfielders Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo during the summer, as well as forward Carlos Tevez, and they started their title defence in the worst possible way, winning just one of their first five Serie A contests.

TURIN, ITALY - APRIL 17:  Claudio Marchisio (L) of Juventus and Franco Vazquez of Palermo lie on the pitch after an injury during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and US Citta di Palermo at Juventus Arena on April 17, 2016 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by
Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Injuries to Sami Khedira and Claudio Marchisio didn’t help, and just a few weeks into the campaign, it looked as if Juventus’ impressive run of dominance in Serie A would end.

But the emergence of young forward Paulo Dybala, who joined the club from Palermo during the summer, signalled a quick change in fortunes. A key win over rivals Torino, thanks to a last-minute goal from loanee Juan Cuadrado, started Juventus’ rise up the standings.

Here are the highlights of that match:

With Khedira and Marchisio returning to form and Paul Pogba overcoming an early-season slump, Juventus returned to their dominant ways and went on a 15-match win streak that lasted up until a scoreless draw with Bologna in February.

It marked the second-longest win streak in Serie A history, with only Inter Milan doing better in the 2006-07 campaign.

Juventus' coach Massimiliano Allegri gestures during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Palermo on April 17, 2016 at the Juventus stadium in Turin.  / AFP / MARCO BERTORELLO        (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Manager Massimiliano Allegri never cared one bit about the run, however. Per Goal, he told reporters he only had the title on his mind back in January:

I do not care. I'd like to go for 20 straight wins, but even then maybe we would not win the Scudetto.

The run is proving successful, although I did not expect it happen so quickly. There are still 16 games left, but we are in a good period and now we have to continue like this and improve further.

But Juventus wasn’t the only club winning matches in bunches. Led by the ridiculous scoring form of Gonzalo Higuain, Napoli kept hold of the top spot in the standings for much of the season, setting up the biggest contest of the campaign, one week before Juventus would drop points against Bologna.

The Partenopei travelled to Turin for a potential title-decider and put together a valiant effort, but a wonder goal from Simone Zaza handed the Old Lady the three points and top spot in the standings. Here are the highlights of that match:

Earlier in the contest, star defender Leonardo Bonucci prevented Napoli from taking the lead by making a key interception on Higuain. Per Bleacher Report’s Adam Digby, it may have been just as important as Zaza’s strike:

The win proved to be the turning point of the title race. Napoli’s form deteriorated in the following weeks, and a three-week suspension for Higuain after he criticised an official in a loss against Udinese effectively ended Napoli’s challenge, per Silvia Recchimuzzi of Reuters (via the Daily Mail).

Meanwhile, Juventus continued their superb form, via Vince Van Genechten of Football Italia:

After the dreadful start to the campaign, Juventus’ season was filled with highlights. Dybala quickly filled Tevez’s shoes and established himself as one of the best young forwards in Europe, and centre-back Daniele Rugani came on strong, setting himself up for a true breakout campaign next season.

Juventus' forward Paulo Dybala from Argentina celebrates after scoring a penalty during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus Vs Lazio on April 20, 2016 at the 'Juventus Stadium' in Turin.  / AFP / MARCO BERTORELLO        (Photo credit should read M
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Along the way, veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon also set a new Serie A record, going 973 minutes without conceding a single goal. The record was previously held by Milan's Sebastiano Rossi.

Juventus honoured the club legend in a peculiar way, releasing a video with some of his top saves that was well over 16 hours long:

While UEFA Champions League success eluded the club, losing a heartbreaker against Bayern Munich in which the Bianconeri came within minutes of shocking the Bundesliga giants at the Allianz Arena, the 2015-16 season was still a success for the Old Lady.

Picking a season MVP is almost impossible, although Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli displayed more consistency in defence than anyone else in the team. Dybala’s creativity often made the difference for the Old Lady, and Buffon continued to defy Father Time, putting together yet another excellent season.

MILAN, ITALY - APRIL 09:  Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus FC gestures during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Juventus FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 9, 2016 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

New stars in Dybala, Alex Sandro and Rugani gave the fans a glimpse of the future, while Pogba continued his development and easily ranked among Europe’s best all-round midfielders by the time the title race was over.

Keeping hold of those young talents will be key during the summer transfer window, and if Allegri can do that, Juventus will start the 2016-17 season as the overwhelming favourites to win yet another Scudetto.

 

 

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